- Length Retention Secret? Ingredients For Chebé
- Traditional Chebé Recipe
- Their Process
- A Substitute Maybe?
- What Are The Key Principles Of Their Phenomenal Length Retention?
- The Takeaway
- Final Considerations
Here we always stress the importance of ensuring health if you want to achieve length. This is a holistic approach of course, inclusive of diet, mental wellness, and a consistent healthy hair care routine. Usually, we say that there is no miracle product or topical treatment that will give you long hair but after seeing the results the women of Chad get from using Chebé, we may have to revise that theory.
These Basara Arab women have hip and thigh length hair, and they credit it to a product that has been passed from generation to generation in their society. Haven’t heard of it? Well, you can watch the video by Miss Sahel below then we can discuss it.
Just an FYI, the video description on youtube states that the texture of the hair does not look kinky* because the weight of the powder “relaxes” their hair and gives it a curly appearance. It is the weight of the powder that causes the hair not to shrink, but their fringes do in fact have a kinky* texture.
When I first saw it I was so intrigued that I set out to find out more (especially because I saw the French version first) my search led me to salwanpetersen.com, a blog which provided the English explanation I wanted and the fact that the writer is also from Chad made it all the more meaningful.
I thought the entire “natural products” theme was very familiar then I realized it was extremely similar to Ayurveda which we have written about here, here, here and here. For ages, women have been using the self-healing practices of Ayurveda and used it’s powders and oils* for body healing and hair growth and retention. I asked myself that in the event that the ingredients to this concoction are hard to get, what could we substitute to create a product that has the same effect?
This caused us to take a deeper look at in the ingredients used.
Length Retention Secret? Ingredients For Chebé
Croton zambesicus (Lavender Croton) – We found that this is traditionally used to treat inflammation. We know that inflammation is caused when there is some type of bacteria is in the body and the white blood cells go to work to expel it from the body. If that’s the case it means that this has anti-bacterial properties that can fight scalp issues like fungus. (That is why Vagisil, Monistat and all the other anti fungal creams work for hair growth.)
Mahalaba – This has anti-inflammatory as well as vasodilation properties, which means it doesn’t only fight inflammation but causes the widening of the blood cells by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. When we do scalp massages we are trying to get the blood vessels relaxed to transport blood to the follicles so this is great. This is great because the more blood will get to the follicles to feed them the better (hopefully it’s oxygen and nutrient rich blood or else it really wouldn’t make a great difference).
Samouh (Acacia*) – This plant is used in dishes and sometimes ground out into something akin to flour, so it is a bit starchy and is added to the mixture to thicken it and give it a smooth creamy finish. In essence, it helps add slip. It has 25% more protein than common cereals. Remember how we said protein is the building block of hair? Well just maybe this is what is responsible for the unbreakable hair that these women have.
Cloves – This is perhaps the most familiar one to many of us (Who hasn’t popped some cloves into the Thanksgiving turkey or a salad?). Well, cloves have anthelmintic properties which basically mean they can get rid of parasites without causing damage to the host. This sounds like no lice to me.
Humra Perfume (Frankincense) Interestingly, we could hardly find out enough about this ingredient but found that the women substitute any fragrant oil in space of it when they don’t have the humra.
Misik (resin) – So far we haven’t found very much on this either.
We noticed that the ingredients list was short and most of the ingredients were edible. The women sometimes eat the edible ingredients, so might that also have some bearing on their results? From the little we found out about the ingredients it occurred to us that each ingredient is chosen to perform specific functions; moisturize, condition and strengthen and lock in moisture.
We learned that the strong fragrances of the ingredients may tend to be overwhelming for some persons and that the mixture itself can leave a brown stain so in its traditional state it would be impractical for those of us who lead lives in the western culture. The thing is, the Chad women use Chebé as a leave in, not as a mask that rinses off. To make it work for us we would have to constantly have our heads wrapped to keep from messing up our bed sheets or the collars of that work suit.
While a google search revealed links that we might buy most of the ingredients from (with the exception of Misik which seems to be a scarce commodity) we realized that the price points for some might prove steep for some of us. So a Chebé imitator might actually be something to explore.
Carla Alicia Bell-Holt says
I don’t understand hip length hair but no edges or hairline.
Alma Ruddock says
They don’t apply that stuff to their fringe which is why it remains short
Marcia P Smith says
It’s their custom apparently. It’s just how they do it. Edges aren’t that important to them. It’s just what they prefer.
Tameica McKinzie says
We are the ones who go nuts without edges, not them.
Chieme Udaku says
Forheads are considered beautiful to them.
Cynthia A.Bradley says
Francine Brown says
We’re the only ones worried about edges. Other cultures aren’t concerned with things like that.
it is consider sexy to have a large forehead. Jostlyn explains it by tribe, hair texture, 2a 3b 4a
Sheila Jones says
Exactly, they hair is so thin.
Alexandria Bryant Shaughnessy says
The back looks pretty thick
Tina Day says
Wondering why the lady laying down beside her isn’t using the same method
Pati Ramirez says
Watch the video again! Her hair is wrapped
Excellent article. Smooth and very easy to read and digest. First time in my life I read about hair. Have no idea what got into me to read this article but i am glad that i did and I will share it with friends that are into this type of work.
Deborah Graves says
This is awesome! I will be checking on getting the products im always mixing stuff to put in my hair thanks for sharing this
Taisseana Rogers says
Wow no. Thank you
Turina Boothe says
Watch it, musics even nice. I enjoyed it all. HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL
I think we should take part in this ‘challenge” and report back to each other. It does not seem to me, that it would cause any harm. What do you all think?
Fitness With Veronica says
I agree. I’m looking forward to making this recipe. I’m currently using fenugreek seeds in my oils. I use a little leave in after deep conditioning and that’s pretty much it. Giving my hair a break from wash and Go’s and botanical gels.
Chele B says
I agree with all the excellent comments on this article. And the Video is very inspiring. I’m new to “Natural” but like the other viewer, I’ve been using fenugreek seeds as well. Being a cancer survivor I’m somewhat familiar with the successful studies of C. Zambesicus on cancer cells. So after examining the plant/seeds I wondered if it might be related to the JamalGhota Seeds (Jamaal Gota/Jayapaya) or Croton Tigium? Also, a blogger named “Jostylin” from Nigeria gave an interesting review of the video and credited Ms. Sahel. She also sheds some insight on geographic uses of chebe: https://jostylin.com/chebe-powder-for-natural-hair-growth/
Lisa Petty Pilgrim says
Can you buy this in the US?
Rosy Rose says
Stop. All of their hair is not that long and you can see from her hair texture that her strands retain moisture well
C Foster says
Anyone’s hair will retain moisture if you are drenching it in grease and water and sealing that all in with chebe and barely washing.
Alise Jay says
….and probably diet… I’m sure diet plays a huge role…
Jade Skei says
Asiah Johnson says
Love the music in this video❤️
Thanks for the article because I was in the process of looking these items up too. I liked the lady’s video on the hair growth routine however, I thought she should have done a better job in finding the products. You have done an excellent job in that regards. As I was looking at your substitute ingredients I noticed that I’ve seen them before. Most of the ingredients, if not all you mentioned can be found in an Indian store, that is in “India” not Native American Indians. Those we have here in America. I watched an Indian womans’ video last year but I was hesitant to use it because I have non porous 4C hair. However, after watching the video of the Chad women I think I will order the ingredients.
D. Cricket says
I might try this out. I wonder if the every five days is specific to the climate? Mostly, I’d like to do it once a week if possible. Guess I’ll have to experiment!
Rachelle B. says
Someone decided to share their tribes hair rituals with a westerner; and it would take a westerner to want the same results but at cheaper price. Imitations devalue the real product. This newfound demand will create economic development opportunities in a black country. Have you looked at the economic situation in Chad? Think twice before you give credens to the Whites to exploit, and Chinese opportunity to offer us the cheap, chemically poisionous subsitutes.
The problem with a lot of those Indian powders is that they tend to dry afro hair out really bad no matter how much oils or conditioner is used. Henna dried my hair out so bad even after deep conditioning and forget about Shikaki that’s even worse. I’m guessing the Chebe is geared mored towards our hair texture that’s what makes it so appealing. Also, she mentioned their texture is like that from the mixture. I don’t think that’s so farfetched. How do we know years and years of coating your hair with this mix and never using harsh surfactants to wash it out wouldn’t change the texture especially if you are doing it religiously and not product hopping like we do?
does the product contain protein? Im protein sensitive and im dealing with protein overload I really want to use it to help my protein overload but I dont know if it has protein in it
I found this awesome article written by a Nigerian woman who has butt length 4C hair. She goes into detail on the true ethnicity of these African Basara Arab women. The presenter said she asked the women if their genetics had anything to do with their hair length and apparently they told her no, but it seems that perhaps what they take for granted goes a bit deeper. Here is an excerpt from her article and I suggest anyone looking for ways to grow their hair read the whole post.
“Africa is extremely diverse and there are over 100 different tribes in the Sahel region alone, so no doubt hair textures will vary. Their hair types range from light wavy 2b waves to thick 4c kinky hair. Hair textures also vary within the tribes themselves. So, the great thing about ‘Chebe’ is that it seems it will work for all hair types. The Fulanis and a few other tribes like the Hausas, Mandinkas and Soninkes who live closer to Senegal, tend to have kinkier 4a -4c hair. The hair types of the Basara, Tebous and Tuaregs in Niger and Chad, range from a wavier, looser 2b hair texture to 3b curly hair. The Baggara Arabs of Sudan tend to be more dark skinned with a wider spectrum of hair types from 3b – 4c hair.”
Hair Vitamins says
The hair is too thin
Hello! This is a great article. 🙂
I want to try this, but I’m wondering when do we wash after the initial 5 days of adding this to our hair? (maybe on the 10th or 11th day after doing it twice)? TIA!